Paderanga vs. Drilon, 247 SCRA 741 (1995)
On 28 January 1990, Paderanga was belatedly charged in an amended information as a co-conspirator in the crime of multiple murder in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18 of Cagayan de Oro City for the killing of members of the Bucag family sometime in 1984 of which Paderanga was the mayor at the time. The original information, filed on 6 October 1986 with the Regional Trial Court of Gingoog City, had initially indicted for multiple murder 8 accused suspect, namely, Felipe Galarion, Manuel Sabit, Cesar Sabit, Julito Ampo, Eddie Torion, John Doe, Peter Doe And Richard Doe as the alleged conspirators in the indiscriminate slaying of the spouses Romeo and Juliet Bucag and their son, Romeo, Jr. However, only one of the accused, Felipe Galarion, was apprehended, tried and eventually convicted. Galarion later escaped from prison. The others have remained at large up to the present. In a bizarre twist of events, one Felizardo Roxas was implicated in the crime. As Paderanga was his former employer and thus knew him well, Roxas engaged the former's services as counsel in said case. Ironically, in the course of the preliminary investigation therein, Paderanga, in a signed affidavit which he later retracted on 20 June 1990, implicated Paderanga as the supposed mastermind behind the massacre of the Bucag family. Pursuant to a resolution of the new prosecutor dated 6 September 1989, Paderanga was finally charged as a co-conspirator in said criminal case in a second amended information dated 6 October 1992. Paderanga assailed his inclusion therein as a co-accused all the way to the Supreme Court in GR 96080 entitled "Atty. Miguel P. Paderanga vs. Hon. Franklin M. Drilon, Hon. Silvestre H. Bello III, Atty. Henrick F. Gingoyon, Helen B. Canoy and Rebecca B. Tan." In an en banc decision promulgated on 19 April 1991, the Court sustained the filing of the second amended information against him.
The trial of the base was all set to start with the issuance of an arrest warrant for Paderanga's apprehension but, before it could be served on him, Paderanga through counsel, filed on 28 October 1992 a motion for admission to bail with the trial court which set the same for hearing on 5 November 1992. As Paderanga was then confined at the Cagayan Capitol College General Hospital due to "acute costochondritis," his counsel manifested that they were submitting custody over the person of their client to the local chapter president of the integrated Bar of the Philippines and that, for purposes of said hearing of his bail application, he considered being in the custody of the law. ProsecutorAbejo, on the other hand, informed the trial court that in accordance with the directive of the chief of their office, Regional State prosecutor Jesus Zozobrado, the prosecution was neither supporting nor opposing the application for bail and that they were submitting the same to the sound discretion of the trail judge. Upon further inquiries from the trial court, Prosecutor Abejo announced that he was waiving any further presentation of evidence. On that note and in a resolution dated 5 November 1992, the trial court admitted Paderanga to bail in the amount of P200,000.00. The following day, 6 November 1992, Paderanga, apparently still weak but well enough to travel by then, managed to personally appear before the clerk of court of the trial court and posted bail in the amount thus fixed. He was thereafter arraigned and in the trial that ensued, he also personally appeared and attended all the scheduled court hearings of the case. On 1 October 1993, Prosecutor Gingoyon elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals through a special civil action for certiorari. The resolution and the order of the trial court granting bail to Paderanga were annulled on 24 November 1993 by the appellate court. Paderanga filed the petition for review before the Supreme Court.
Whether or not Paderanga was in the custody of the law when he filed his motion for admission to bail.
Paderanga had indeed filed his motion for admission to bail before he was actually and physically placed under arrest. He may, however, therefore, be considered as being constructively and legally under custody. Thus in the likewise peculiar circumstance which attended the filing of his bail application with the trial court, for purposes of the hearing thereof he should be deemed to have voluntarily submitted his person to the custody of the law and, necessarily, to the jurisdiction of the trial court which thereafter granted bail as prayed for. Paderanga, through his counsel, emphatically made it known to the prosecution and to the trail court during the hearing for bail that he could not personally appear as he was then confined at the nearby Cagayan Capitol College General Hospital for acute costochondritis, and could not then obtain medical clearance to leave the hospital Certainly, it would have taken but the slightest effort to place Paderanga in the physical custody of the authorities, since he was then incapacitated and under medication in a hospital bed just over a kilometer away, by simply ordering his confinement or placing him under guard. Thus, Paderanga was by then in the constructive custody of the law.